Pakituhi hut, one of the huts on the new Breast Hill track.
Photo supplied by DOC.
The Department of Conservation's 18km Breast Hill Track
above Lake Hawea has opened for trampers.
The new track gives access to the summit of Breast Hill
(1578m) and includes a 1km zig-zag climb from the road that
may be a challenge for some, Doc's Wanaka area manager, Paul
Hellebrekers, said yesterday.
The Breast Hill track connects with the existing Timaru River
track to form a 30km loop that takes between two and three
days to complete.
There are two huts: the new Pakituhi Hut, which has been
constructed by Amalgamated Builders, and the recently
refurbished historic musterers' shelter, Stodys Hut.
The track was formed after tenure review on Lake Hawea
station, owned by the Rowley family. It is a new link in the
nationwide 3000km Te Araroa Trail.
The Te Araroa route links about 300 separate tracks and Te
Araroa Trail chief executive Geoff Chapple rates the Breast
Hill track "a sovereign track, one of the very best", within
a "powerful landscape".
"Full credit to Doc for recognising the potential and for its
determination to get the track resourced and swiftly built.
"If anyone wants to visualise the scope of the last ice age
then the track route along the Breast Hill ridge and the
descent to the new Pakituhi Hut offers a succession of
brilliant vistas," Mr Chapple said.
Views of Mt Aspiring dominate the western skyline, with Lake
Hawea far below. Doc recommends people intending to use the
new track visit the Doc visitor centre in Wanaka for further
Access to the track is about 6km beyond Lake Hawea on Timaru